Over the past few months, I have begun the transition from my everyday household products to non-toxic household products, starting with products that directly contact the skin. To be honest, this was a long, painful process and involved some trial and error. Hopefully my learnings will make this transition easier for someone else.
The Think Dirty app was a lifesaver during this journey and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t used it. This app designates a rating to each product, showing where it falls on the clean to dirty scale, with 0 being the cleanest and 10 being the worst. It simplifies the process of determining if a particular product is “clean.” I learned that the majority of the products I was using everyday were around 7-9 out of 10 on the “dirty” scale. Knowing that the skincare products I was using were harmful is one thing, but then what? The challenging part was determining which products are actually “clean” to use.
Finding the answer to this question was tricky. As a 20-something, I normally buy mainstream brands without a second thought or honestly the cheapest product in the grocery store aisle. Determining which products were non-toxic required a lot of time blankly staring at the home section at Whole Foods, typing every single brand into my Think Dirty app. There are so many products out there that claim to be “natural” or are seemingly clean, but actually are not. There are seemingly no regulations around stating a product is “natural” and it really requires research in order to determine what products are actually clean. Also, replacing all of your current products isn’t cheap. Instead of replacing everything at once, I opted to start by replacing the cheaper items first and then replacing the rest over time as I ran out of product.
Below are the brands that worked best for me. I was able to find them easily in stores and they didn’t break the bank. Each of these brands is also completely or mostly gluten- free.
Dr Bronners products tend to have very low “dirty” levels. I use their soap products. The Dr Bronners unscented bar soap was actually my first clean product purchase. It wasn’t too expensive and was an easy way to test out a new product. I had no regrets on this purchase. I also now use their hand pump soap and body wash products. Dr Bronners soaps are pretty easy to find- I have purchased them off of Amazon and from Whole Foods.
Tom’s of Maine
I have Acure face wash and have tried other facial products. This brand has generally clean products. Acure products can be found at Whole Foods and Target.
Fortunately, chapstick has a much smaller selection of products in stores so it was easier to determine which of the few brands were good options. I have purchased Badger from Whole Foods and it is relatively inexpensive.